( Best ) Above the Line ( ATL )

Above the Line ( ATL )

Above the Line marketing or ATL advertising consists of advertising activities that are largely non-targeted and have a wide reach. ATL communication is done to build the brand and inform the customers about the product. Conversions are given less importance in above the line advertising.

To make it simpler-

Above the line marketing includes mass marketing strategies which are largely untargeted and are focused on building the brand.

By ‘untargeted’ we mean that the communication isn’t directed towards a specific group. The mediums convey the message to everyone who has access to them.

Examples of Above the Line Promotion


An average American watches 4.3 hours of TV in a day. It’s a similar case with the rest of the world. TV advertisements have a reach from local, to national, and international audience depending on the TV channel and the contract between the parties. TV advertisements have a better connection with the users as moving images with audio are preferred over still images or audio alone.


Psychologists tell us that consumers need to be exposed to an advertising message at least three times before it begins to penetrate. No other media other than radio provide such affordability when it comes to this frequency.

Radio is a perfect option for marketers to fulfil all the frequency and creative demands of an advertisement. Radio to have a local, national, and international reach just like TVs.

Print Advertisements (magazine & newspaper)

Local, regional and national print media has a wider reach than any of the other mediums. Newspapers have fixed ad-slots that are used by marketers to inform customers / prospective customers about the brand or offers.

Magazines exist in niches and make it easier for marketers to reach their niche directly through them.

mcd print ad

Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is usually done in public places and is constantly on display, have a greater reach depending on the locations. They include Flags, Banners, Wraps, Billboards, etc.

colgate shotgun approach Marketing activities (basically advertisements) can be divided into - Above the Line (ATL), Below the Line (BTL), & Through the Line (TTL) Marketing

Advantages of Above the line marketing

  • Wider Reach: Above the line advertising mediums have a wide (national/international) reach.
  • Better Connect with the audience: The mediums like TV and radio use audio-visuals which have a better connect with the audience.
  • Brand Building: Media advertising is a crucial tool in defining and realizing brand identity. A brand is built by the customers. The role of marketers in brand building is to reach as many prospective customers as they can and communicate to them about the brand and its benefits creatively. Above the line marketing, hence, plays an integral role when it comes to brand building.

Above the line advertising benefits

Above the line advertising has many benefits as it is designed to reach a larger audience and boost brand awareness. However this form of marketing does carry a costly price tag and is generally reserved for the larger corporate organisations.

Here are a few main benefits of above the line advertising:

  • Brand awareness – ATL is best for boosting brand awareness on a very large scale and has an impressive impact on brand recognition by consumers. It’s virtually impossible to build a very well-known brand without this form of advertising campaign.
  • Attention grabbing – With a combination of audio and visual which is used in above the line advertising the attention-grabbing quality is boosted to levels not reached with other forms of advertising. This is because audio and visual demand attention from the consumer.
  • Reach – No other form of advertising is as effective in reaching a large audience than ATL advertising. Brands that use above the line advertising are almost always guaranteed great returns on investment.
  • AB Testing
  • 5Cs of Marketing


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